China Expedition 2017 - Climbing Mt Siguniang
Our thanks to London based teacher Allan Cairns for this...
Days for Girls is a grassroots not-for-profit that aims for every woman and girl around the globe to have ready access to culturally, physically and environmentally hygienic solutions to menstrual hygiene. They do this by making and distributing Days for Girls Kits, which contain all the items a girl needs to continue with her normal day to day life while on her period, without suffering from fear or shame.
Here at The STC we believe that this is a simple and vital way of keeping girls in school and of binding women together from across the globe. We are excited to be working in partnership with Days for Girls to offer on our Girls' School Adventures programme a unique experience to work alongside local women in a project that connects all the women and girls who are involved.
Days for Girls Kits are hand-made by volunteers around the world and by Days for Girls Centres and Micro-Enterprises. They contain everything a girl needs during mensuration to continue her daily activities without fear or worry about her period.
With over 620 teams working across more than 100 countries, Days for Girls has so far reached 300,000 girls worldwide. Here at The STC we would like for as many of our trips as possible to be involved with this incredible movement* and this can be done in a variety of ways depending on your trip destination, educational aims, group size and duration.
Our hope is that working alongside local women and Days for Girls will allow our groups the opportunity to truly bond with women overseas over something which they can all understand and relate to. Not only will this directly benefit the women and girls in country, but also those taking part in our trips too.
As each of our trips are tailor made to match your requirements, we can be very flexible – your trip could revolve around the work done alongside Days for Girls or it could just be a very small part of an action packed itinerary.
*While primarily our focus is on our Girls’ Adventures programme this is in no way limited to girls’ only groups. In fact, we think it’s incredibly important for both sexes to be involved in order to remove the stigma and taboo associated with menstruation.
Our groups have the perfect opportunity to distribute Days for Girls Kits around the globe. This could be to a remote village visited during an expedition, a women’s NGO, a partner school… the possibilities are many! DfG Kits can either be brought with the group from the UK or purchased in country from a Days for Girls Micro-Enterprise or Centre (depending on the trip location)
Prior to their trip, students must complete the Days for Girls Ambassador of Women’s Health online training so that they can work alongside local people to deliver the health training sessions which go alongside a DfG Kit Distribution.
This allows students to develop key skills such as: working with multi-national teams in a globalised world, presentation delivery, awareness of cultural barriers, important general health knowledge.
One of Days for Girls’ aims is to encourage women to be independent and sufficient through their Micro-Enterprise programme. This helps local women across the globe set up a small business making and selling Days for Girls kits in their area.
Depending on your itinerary, we could include a visit to a local Micro-Enterprise where the group could help in making the Days for Girls Kit alongside these entrepreneurs. Purchasing DfG Kits from these groups aids the local economy and then the group could run a distribution workshop alongside the Micro-Enterprise team.
Days for Girls has regional centres in parts of Africa, Asia and South America. These centres co-ordinate the work of local Days for Programming, and are effectively the ‘command centre’ for the area. Trips to Uganda, Ghana and Nepal could include a visit to the local centre to learn about the work which is being done on a larger scale.
For school groups looking for a business or economics focus to their trip, students can use their trip to a Days for Girls Centre to work alongside the women there and run a workshop which will help the movement. From accounts to marketing or even a photography workshop, if you feel like your group has something more to offer then please let us know and we will do our best to set up an excellent opportunity for your group.
We believe school trips overseas should involve the whole school, not just the students and teachers heading abroad. We often hear stories of assemblies and presentations run by the group upon their return or school wide fundraising activities (you can’t beat a trusty cake sale!).
During any Days for Girls Kit Distribution, almost more important than the DfG Kit itself is the health and sanitation knowledge that comes alongside it. Prior to leaving the UK, participants on one of our Days for Girls trips would take the Days for Girls Ambassadors of Women’s Health Training, which will allow them to teach local women about key issues around menstrual hygiene and women’s health including:
This means that women and girls in country can understand what is happening to their bodies and come to learn that they should not be afraid or embarrassed by it. Proper training also ensures that the DfG Kits can last for up to three years.
Giving these sessions breaks down the cultural taboos associated with menstruation and allows all of the women involved to connect and share experiences. They can be fun, interactive, educational and useful to all involved.
What’s more, it offers girls on our trips the opportunity to become involved in a local project which will give ongoing benefit, work with the local community and give them experience in leading important sessions with the help of local people.
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If you've not heard of The STC before, we're probably the best kept secret of the school trips industry. We started life in 2006 and have been quietly shaking the tree of knowledge ever since. Innovative school expeditions, exceptional educational school trips abroad and a firm commitment to travel responsibly have connected us to a tribe of passionate teachers. If you, like them, are intent on stretching the global horizons of young people then, to mis-quote Lionel Ritchie, "Hello... It is us you're looking for!”
Our thanks to London based teacher Allan Cairns for this...
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